Inside the OC&E – 2019 Autumn Newsletter

Full STEAM Ahead!

Kassady of the Youth Programs team, teaching Lil’
Conductors how to operate the Lego Duplo using
an app on the iPad.

The Colorado Model Railroad Museum (CMRM) took its Youth Program to the next level by offering hands-on learning and fun to all ages with its CMRM STEAM EXPRESS. S.T.E.A.M.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), stems from the learning-centered application of
acquiring the needs of tomorrow by building the skill sets today. STEAM is introduced through our Lil’ Conductors (ages 3-5), Lil’ Engineers (ages 6-10), and many fun-filled events from LEGOS Simple Machines to T-TRAK, Pizza Layouts, Scenery Clinics and more!

The Lil’ Conductors and Lil’ Engineers engaged in Learn n’ Play activities designed to build confidence and a foundational development for discovery and investigation. Storytelling for students was used to assist learners in developing the social and emotional skills that are necessary for successful learning and developing confidence and problem-solving skills.

The LEGO Simple Powered Machines provided learners and leaders with hands-on, real-world experiences. This program introduced and enforced learners and leaders with a broad range of concepts, such as force, motion, and energy, use LEGO Technic bricks and a motor to model mechanical engineering. The use of these activities assisted children in becoming familiar with engineering problem-solving tasks while developing teamwork and observation skills.

T-TRAK, a modular model railroad system, is a track placement with an adjacent module interface and electrical connections. The standards allow for many different layout designs while maintaining the ability to connect with other modules built to the T-Trak standards. The modules are relatively small dioramas that snap together, allowing the creation of simple circle layouts to larger complex layouts. Participants were allowed to select single straight or corner modules for their clinics. The museum provided the Modules, electrical connectors, and scenery materials.

CMRM Board member Norm Wolstein took the finished T-Trak modules to Utah for the 2019 National Train Show to display the many ways to assemble a layout with modules. Young students finished their layouts in two, two-hour Saturday sessions.

Who says you need to eat pizza? The museum introduced a new concept for pizza with our Pizza Layout Clinics this summer. Unfortunately, these pizzas did not come with a crust option. You don’t eat these! Learners enjoyed building their own layout in the shape of an extra-large pizza. Instead of pepperoni and veggies, these pizza layouts provided growth opportunities in technical and artistic skills. Scenery clinics, which included terrain and trees, assisted in building an ideal creation, limited only by the builder’s imagination.

Our Mission Statement: To provide a model railroading experience that educates, inspires, and brings joy to all ages.

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